City Manager Tom Ambrosino said he would gladly enforce the new Police and Fire residency ordinance confirmed last week at Council, but not until at least 2021.
“It has to be negotiated through collective bargaining,” he said. “The firefighters are under contract until 2021, and the police are now at the state Joint Labor Management Commission. It probably won’t be able to be negotiated with either unit until 2021. We have no plans to enforce it until there is a new contract because the law is clear this is a change in the contract subject to collective bargaining.”
The Council voted for the matter last month, and staved off a challenge to that vote last week, led by Councilor Giovanni Recupero. Recupero has tried for seven years to get the residency plan in place for new police and fire hires. The plan now in effect would require all new hires as of July 31 to live in the city for five years after hire.
The matter, however, cannot be enforced until the City Manager re-negotiates the contracts with the police and fire, meaning that all member would get raises in exchange for that change in working conditions.
Ambrosino said the unions could decide not to agree to the matter, which would also make it unenforceable if it is outside any contract.
“An ordinance cannot supersede a mandatory collective bargaining matter,” he said. “It is unenforceable until it shows up in a collective bargaining agreement.”
Known for its comedy, magic, and romance, Midsummer has a disturbing dark side too.
The play kicks off with an engagement forged in war, a father threatening death to his daughter, and an escape into the woods where the environment has been decimated by the force of a fairy feud.
“And thorough this distemperature we see the seasons alter… and the mazed world, By their increase, now knows not which is which.”
In these times of environmental destruction and climate change, it’s striking to see these concerns front and center in Midsummer. Only by setting aside their pride and desire to dominate can the inhabitants of the world of Midsummer (fairies and mortals both) create harmony and rebuild the world they want to live in.
The play begins and ends in the court of Athens, with those scenes staged in the park’s lush green waterfront “amphitheater,” but as the lovers flee the unjust justice of the court, they enter into a world destroyed by wind and flood where only salt remains.
This now barren landscape is being created by artist Marc Poirier as an extension of the massive salt piles looming next to the harbor below the Tobin Bridge. Marc’s company, Longleaf Lumber, has donated large timbers salvaged from the Hingham Naval Shipyard to construct a crib structure reflecting the
marine architecture of Boston Harbor’s piers and bridge abutments, which thanks to Eastern Salt will be filled with road salt to create this haunting world.
Marc Poirier began his career as a painter, and received his MFA in painting and sculpture from Columbia University School of the Arts. He went on to found Longleaf Lumber, a Cambridge based reclaimed and antique lumber mill, and has recently merged his passions to create large scale site specific sculpture. Most recently at Apollinaire he created the multi-level maze set for the production of Everyman, and the centerpiece bar in the new Black Box theater. At over 5’ tall and 60’ across, with Midsummer he is taking his work to a much grander scale.
Sound Designer/Composer David Reiffel will be creating the sonic world with a full size upright piano mounted on the salt. This is David’s 18th show with Apollinaire. His work has also been heard coast to coast from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to Boston’s SpeakEasy Stage. He recently won the Norton award for Outstanding Musical Direction. Lighting Designer Christopher Bocchiaro will be lighting the two worlds of the play and designer Susan Paino is creating the costumes.
One of Boston’s great comedic actors will take on one of dramatic literature’s great comedic roles.
Actor Brooks Reeves, who was widely recognized for his portrayal of Kulygin in this season’s Three Sisters (receiving both Norton and Irne nominations), stars in the role of Bottom. Brooks’s most recent Boston appearance was in dual roles in Love, Valor, Compassion, which DigBoston’s Christopher Ehlers recognized as “one of the best performances of the year.”
Audience members are encouraged to bring blankets and beach chairs, a picnic to enjoy along with the harbor views, and walking shoes for the 2 moves during the performance.
Performances are July 11-29, 2018 • Wed.-Sun. • 7:30 • Free!
PORT Park, 99 Marginal Street, on the Chelsea Waterfront.
Free parking is available on site.
Information/Directions: www.apollinairetheatre.com or (617) 887-2336.
In case of rain, call (617) 887-2336 to check status.
Running Time apx. 1 hour 30 minutes, plus 2 short intermissions to change location.
Chelsea was a thriving center of Jewish life during the last century. Located just four miles northeast of downtown Boston, Chelsea had the densest concentration of Jews outside of New York City. The Jewish immigrants to Chelsea established about two dozen orthodox synagogues and one conservative temple. Temple Emmanuel was formed in the 1930s and continues with a dedicated congregation from the local area and across the US.
As a commitment to Temple Emmanuel and Chelsea, the members raised almost $100,000 and just completed an extensive renovation. The sanctuary was built in the 1840s as a Methodist-Episcopal church with high ceilings and excellent sight lines to the ark. In the 1950s the sanctuary, which seated almost 500, was often full for the high holidays. We still attract crowds to our major functions. A few years ago we mounted a Jews of Chelsea Exhibition that attracted more than 500 visitors.
The re-invigoration of Temple Emmanuel reflects a loyal membership and a dynamic tireless president, Sara Lee Saievetz Callahan. Sara Lee learned effective leadership from her mother and grandmother, who were very active in the community including the Chelsea Soldiers Home and the Assumption Church. Rabbi Oksana Chapman has been very creative in preserving some religious aspects of conservative traditions while adapting to embrace a diverse community. For example, services now include a chorus and musicians; interfaith and same-sex weddings and congregants are celebrated. The temple renovations include a large social hall and an updated kitchen, which can accommodate up to 135 for both religious and secular functions.
Chelsea is in the midst of a renaissance and is growing with the construction of government, commercial, and residential buildings plus a new transportation hub. Temple Emmanuel welcomes new residents, those with roots in Chelsea, and anyone seeking a welcoming and warm environment (haimish in Yiddish). We invite visitors and prospective members at any service or function.
Temple Emmanuel is throwing a party and invites you to celebrate our recent renovations and continued commitment to the renaissance of Chelsea.
June 16, 2018
60 Tudor Street in Chelsea
Enjoy our food stations!
Dance and enjoy our entertainment!
View our exhibit: a century of Chelsea cultural life!
Just $100 per person, which includes two tickets for beer and wine. Call 617-889-1736 for more information.
Come see the preservation of Chelsea history. The Temple Emmanuel building dates from the 1840s as a Methodist-Episcopal church with high ceilings, excellent sight lines, and solid elegant woodwork.
As a commitment to Temple Emmanuel and Chelsea, we raised almost $100,000 and are completing an extensive renovation. We continue as enthusiastic supporters of our community by investing in the renewal of Chelsea. Come see our progress and celebrate with us!
Kiaralis, Mike, and Sara Sandoval attended the 40th Anniversary of Chelsea TND where Mike was awarded as Chelsea member of the year. TND celebrated 40 years as an organization founded in Chelsea, and also celebrated their outgoing Director Ann Houston and their incoming Director Rafael Mares.
It came as quite a surprise, but was much deserved, as Supt. Mary Bourque and Clark Avenue Middle School Principal Michael Talbot informed Clark Ave teacher Sally Siriani on May 31 that she was the Chelsea Rotary
Supt. Mary Bourque, Teacher of the Year Sally Siriani, and Clark Ave Principal Michael Talbot.
Teacher of the Year.
Siriani has spent 20 years in the district, all at the Clark Avenue Middle teaching math and science in grades 5 and 6.
“I love the kids,” she said. “I as born to do this. I put magnets on the refrigerator when I was little and pretended to grade homework papers. I played school all day. My friend Holly Correia, who now teaches in Revere, would always play school. We would take stuffed animals and put them in seats and play school all day long. I’m flattered and honored and shocked. It’s great to be recognized.”
Siriani grew up in Winthrop and attended Catholic Schools there, graduating from Winthrop High School in 1990. She attended Fitchburg State and then worked at the now-closed Assumption School in Chelsea. When it closed down, she was hired to be one of the first teachers in 1998 to come into the new Clark Avenue Middle School.
Previously, the building was used as Chelsea High School.
Current Supt. Mary Bourque was the assistant principal at the time and said that Siriani was the backbone of the school.
“Personally, I know Ms. Siriani from our early days at the Clark Avenue School and her deep devotion to providing the highest quality education for all students,” said Bourque. “I also remember the days when a new school was but a conversation for us all. Ms. Siriani has lived through another Clark Avenue Middle School milestone – construction – and is now teaching a new generation of students in the new building that we used to only dream about in 1998.”
Principal Talbot said her strength is building relationships with her students.
“She collaborates with the other Math teacher at her grade level in order to best meet the needs of all of her students,” he said. “She regularly uses pre-assessments to see where the gaps are and flexibly groups her students in differentiated activities in order to help them with the mastery of the skills that are required. She also asks students to self-assess themselves, set realistic and challenging goals, and then plans thoughtful learning activities for all of her students. She works incredibly hard on behalf of her students and she is able to build strong relationships with her students, as evidenced by so many coming back to see her each year.”
Siriani was to be honored at the Rotary Lunch on Tuesday, June 5.
The City Budget vote at the Council is usually a night of empty seats and methodical tabulation.
Not so this past Monday night when teachers, students and School Department employees packed the Chambers and councillors debated over several controversial cuts to the document.
One councillor, Bob Bishop, even cast a lone vote against the City Budget.
In the end, the Council did approve the budget 10-1.
The total spending came in at $195,964,074, with the breakdown as follows:
General Fund Budget, $174,074,177.
Water Enterprise Fund, $8,397,199.
Sewer Enterprise Fund, 12,808,779.
General Fund Free Cash, $683,919.
The total sum represents an increase of 6.6 percent over last year’s budget.
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said it was a document that represented a philosophy in government and he was proud of it.
“A budget is not just a compilation of numbers and spreadsheets,” he said. “A budget is always a document expressing a philosophy of government. This budget delivers services and programs and invests in our people, our community.”
The real drama came for the School Department, which needed a large influx of City cash into its coffers to avoid massive cuts to it program after being shorted several years by the state’s funding formula.
The City is required to give a set amount of money to the School Department each year, but in the budget crunch of the last few years, the City has kicked in extra funding. On Monday, numerous representatives from the schools were there to speak in support of what amounts to about $4 million (or 5.7 percent) above the required spending amount.
“The state is letting Chelsea down,” said Sam Baker, vice president of the Chelsea Teacher’s Union. “They can’t be relied upon to support urban Gateway districts like Chelsea…When the federal government lets you down, the state government lets you down, there is only one place left to turn – to the neighbors and the local officials of the city. This budget shows that the students and schools in Chelsea can rely on their local neighbors.”
Several others spoke as well, particularly for keeping special education position intact – positions that have been cut heavily in the past few years. School Committee Chair Jeannette Velez urged the Council to approve the additional spending in the budget.
After the vote, the room erupted in applause for the sake of the schools.
But it wasn’t that easy.
While the Council was uniformly in favor of the school measures, there were several things they were flat out against. Major amendments were proposed and hashed out on close votes over the course of an hour.
Almost all of them were proposed by Council President Damali Vidot.
First was a cut of $15,000 to the Law Department – which was a dart in the back of many on the Council. The cut represented funding put in the budget for the Council to have its own attorney on retainer to give them a second opinion when they aren’t satisfied with the City’s staff lawyers.
Only Councillor Giovanni Recupero and Damali Vidot voted for it, with it losing 9-2.
One cut that did survive was a $100,000 cut to the Fire Department as a shot across the bow for their use, and some on the Council would say abuse, of overtime in the last few years.
Vidot said the Department has seen numerous new hires in the last year and has proposed to increase its overtime budget. She said that number should be going down, not up.
The cut was approved 6-4, with Vidot, Recupero, Bishop, Luis Tejada, Enio Lopez and Rodriguez voting yes.
Vidot also proposed to cut the Police Department salaries by $150,000 to curtail the use of overtime pay being given to officers who do walking beats around the downtown. She said that should come out of regular pay at the regular rate, not as overtime pay.
That measure lost narrowly, on a 5-6 vote. Those voting against that were Calvin Brown, Tejada, Avellaneda, Robinson, Perlatonda, and Garcia.
A major discussion took place after that to cut the new Downtown Coordinator position, which comes at $72,000. Vidot said it was a failed program and should be staffed by a Chelsea person who can bring all different Chelsea residents to the downtown to connect in one place. She said she doesn’t see that happening.
However, the majority felt that good things were happening and the coordinator needed more time.
A key supporter was downtown district Councillor Judith Garcia.
That cut failed 3-8, with only Vidot, Lopez and Bishop voting for it.
The final controversial cut proposal was to eliminate monies being spent to keep retiring EMS Director Allan Alpert on board for a year. Alpert plans to retire on June 30, but will be kept on as a consultant to bring the new director up to speed. The cost for that is $55,000.
Vidot said it was unnecessary, and she said it’s time to stop keeping retiring City Hall people on the payroll as consultants.
However, other councillors such as Avellaneda, said there was a succession plan in place for Alpert that didn’t pan out. Now, to make sure a new plan could be put in place, Alpert needed to be allowed to stay on another year.
After much controversial discussion, the cut was defeated narrowly 5-6. Those voting to keep Alpert on were Rodriguez, Tejada, Avellaneda, Robinson, Perlatonda, and Garcia.
For the overall budget, all councillors except Bishop voted for it.
Bishop, who has emerged as a staunch fiscal conservative on the Council, said the spending was not sustainable.
“I cannot vote for this budget,” he said. “I can’t be for this budget because it is not sustainable. We’ll hit the wall one day and that $25 million in the Rainy Day Fund will go out one ear because out budget is almost all salaries.”
The Chelsea High School Class of 2018 will hold its Commencement Ceremonies Sunday at 1 p.m. at the high school.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Bourque will address the large gathering and offer her official congratulations to the graduates.
City Manager Thomas Ambrosino and School Committee Chairperson Jeanette Velez will also be part of the ceremony.
Former CHS director of athletics Frank DePatto said he is looking forward to attending the ceremony for the first time in his capacity as a member of the School Committee.
“I know this class very well and they are an accomplished group academically and athletically,” said DePatto. “I look forward to being present as our graduates attain this important milestone in their lives. Graduation represents the ending of one chapter and the beginning of another. I wish the graduates continued success as they move on to college, the military, and the work force.”
The City will begin design of a major rehabilitation of Beacham Street in the New England Produce Center area from Spruce Street to the Everett line, said City Planner Alex Train.
That comes due to the fact that the City was just recently awarded an unexpected $3 million grant for the project from the federal Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.
Train said the City has proposed a $5 million capital investment in the project for the Fiscal Year 2020 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), giving them $8 million total to complete the project.
He said they will begin as soon as they can.
“We are excited to get this started,” said Train. “We are scheduled to start design and engineering on July 1. We will hopefully break ground on construction July 1, 2019. I expect there would be a three-year construction timeline. During that time and before, we will be coordinating with abutters, residents and businesses.”
The plan includes completely repurposing the roadway from a predominantly industrial truck route to a major automobile/pedestrian/cyclist east-west corridor throughway.
That will mean it will get a new surface, a new roadway, a new sidewalk on one side, a shared-use path on the southerly side with a buffered bike/pedestrian path, stormwater/drainage improvements, new lighting, new street trees, new signals at the intersection of Spruce and Williams Streets.
In addition, Train said they are working with the City of Everett to coordinate the design so that the Everett project matches the Chelsea project.
“They will be mimicking our design so there will be a contiguous and similar cyclable and walkable roadway from Chelsea to Everett,” he said.
Sen. Sal DiDomenico and his colleagues in the Massachusetts Senate recently passed a $41.49 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2019, including targeted investments to create opportunities and ensure access to the tools that individuals, children and families need to succeed in the economy and in their communities. This budget invests in key areas related to education, local aid, health and human services, housing, and tools for low income families.
“After careful deliberation, the Senate has passed a thoughtful budget that both reflects the shared priorities of our chamber and addresses the pressing needs of our communities,” said Sen. DiDomenico, Assistant Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate. “This budget includes key investments in many of my top priority items that will have a positive and direct impact on Chelsea, and I am happy to report that all of my amendments providing additional resources for our community were adopted to the final Senate budget. I would like to thank Senate Ways & Means Chairwoman Karen Spilka and Senate President Harriette Chandler for all of their great work to craft a budget that will undoubtedly help to move our entire Commonwealth forward.”
The budget invests significantly in education for people of all ages and backgrounds and focuses particularly on elementary and secondary education, including $4.91B for the Chapter 70 education formula, its highest level ever. This funding allows for a minimum aid increase of $30 per pupil for every school district across the state and 100% effort reduction to bring all school districts to their target local contribution. Under the Senate budget, Chelsea would receive $77.4M in Chapter 70 funds- $4.3M more than they received in state funding last fiscal year.
Additionally, this budget takes much needed steps to offset the cost to some school districts-like Chelsea and Everett- of educating economically disadvantaged students and allows these districts to more accurately count their students. In recent years, many Gateway City school districts have faced dire budget gaps due to a 2015 change in the way the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) calculates low-income or “economically disadvantaged” students. This count plays a key role in the Chapter 70 formula that determines the amount of funding school districts receive from the state.
As a result of this change, only students who are registered for social welfare programs like SNAP and Medicaid are categorized as economically disadvantaged, missing thousands of additional low-income students who are not accessing social services. However, under the Senate budget, communities will be allowed to choose their preferred method of counting economically disadvantaged students, thereby ensuring that Chelsea is able to count all of their students.
“I am thrilled that this change has been included in the FY19 Senate budget,” said DiDomenico. “This is a solution that I have long been advocating for, and I am confident this will have a major impact on the amount of Chapter 70 funding schools in my district will receive and will go a long way towards remedying the fiscal challenges that our local schools have been facing.”
As Assistant Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate, Sen. DiDomenico was able to secure a number of amendments providing additional funding for his local communities. In total, the Senator secured an additional $100K for the Chelsea community:
$25,000 CONNECT, a financial opportunity center in the city of Chelsea
$75,000 for a youth social worker in the Chelsea Public Schools
This budget also invests in programs and advances policies to encourage self-sufficiency and economic mobility for low income families, providing them with the tools to secure their essential needs and develop skills to join the workforce. Policy changes include:
Sen. DiDomenico’s bill to eliminate the family cap- a failed and outdated policy that denies Department of Transitional Assistance benefits to children conceived while the family was receiving assistance.
An increase in the child clothing allowance to $350 per child- a $50 perchild increase over FY18- to help families secure their basic needs
An increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) state match to 30% of the federal credit
Other top priority items for Sen. DiDomenico that were included in the Fiscal Year 2019 Senate Budget and will benefit Chelsea residents are:
$3.8 million for the state’s pediatric palliative care network to ensure there is no wait list for these critical services so children and their families have the extra care and support that they need;
$319.3 million to fully fund the Special Education Circuit Breaker;
$100 million to reimburse school districts for costs incurred when students leave to attend charter schools;
$8.7 million for Childcare Resource and Referral Centers to boost salaries and decrease caseloads for caseworkers helping parents, childcare providers, employers and community groups navigate the state’s early education landscape;
$4 million for Youth-At-Risk Matching grants, including support for YWCAs, YMCAs and Boys & Girls Clubs;
$33.4 million for adult basic education services to improve access to skills and tools necessary to join the workforce;
$10.3 million for summer jobs and work-readiness training for at-risk youth;
$16 million for the Massachusetts Cultural Council to support local arts, culture and creative economy initiatives;
$16.2 million for local Councils on Aging to strengthen programs and services in senior centers in communities across the state;
$142.9 million for a range of substance abuse treatment, intervention and recovery support services, including funding to open five new recovery centers; and
$18.5 million for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), including $3 million to expand eligibility to include persons with disabilities, seniors, unaccompanied youth and individuals.
A Conference Committee will now work out the differences between the Senate budget and the version passed by the House of Representatives in April. Fiscal Year 2019 begins on July 1.
East Boston Savings Bank (EBSB), and Starkweather & Shepley Insurance Brokerage Inc. (S&S) are pleased to announce a strategic alliance that will allow both financial service institutions the ability to offer a full line of commercial, personal and life insurance products.
The formation of this alliance will enable both organizations to expand the services offered to their respective clienteles throughout New England. This relationship will enhance the strategic goals of both organizations given the synergies of their client base, geographical footprint, product offerings, industries served as well as the shared value of a strong commitment to the communities served by both organizations.
Richard J. Gavegnano, President, CEO and Chairman of East Boston Savings Bank stated “Every person we are connected with; both employees and customers alike, need insurance protection and we often get requests to assist people with their insurance needs. We found that S&S can consistently provide insurance solutions that are a perfect fit for our customers in addition to fitting seamlessly into our geographic footprint. We are thrilled to have found S&S and look forward to referring their services as an option to our employees and customers”.
According to Andrew Fotopulos, President, Starkweather & Shepley Insurance Corp. of Massachusetts. “We are very proud to be working with a distinguished financial institution such as East Boston Savings Bank that shares many of our core values and history. There is a reason why our two institutions have been in business for approximately 310 years. It’s our continued commitment to customers, community and employees that inspires us to evolve and improve the client experience every day. The mantra “hard work” is emphasized by EBSB in their marketing campaigns and that’s what we both will do in order to be the best provider of banking and insurance services.”
Established in 1879, Starkweather & Shepley is the 68th largest Insurance brokerage firm in the U.S. Held in trust since 1935, ensures that the firm will remain privately held in perpetuity, providing certainty to clients and associates alike. The firm provides commercial and personal insurance, health and employee benefits, surety bonding and risk management services.
East Boston Savings Bank is a Massachusetts chartered stock savings bank originally founded in 1848. Offering a variety of deposit and loan products to individuals and businesses located Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts, EBSB is known for exceptional customer experiences, solid financial performance, workforce development and community leadership. The bank operates thirty five full-service branch locations and three loan centers in the Greater Boston metropolitan area.
East Boston Savings Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Meridian Bancorp, Inc. The common stock of Meridian Bancorp, Inc. is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market and trades under the ticker symbol “EBSB.”